Some movies are amazing. Some movies aren’t. And then there are the movies that feel like they could have been something really special if they had only taken a little bit more time with the script. They are one notes session away from having a great movie on their hands, but instead they settled for being a disappointment.
AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON isn’t really a disappointment, but it didn’t quite hit the grand slam that it could have. Let’s check out the notes session that should have been…
Hey Joss! Here are some notes based on your latest draft of AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON:
-I love the beginning of this thing! You don’t make us wait for the Avengers to assemble! It’s great! However, it feels like it’s too connected to the first movie. They are going back after Loki’s scepter after a couple of years away? Come on. How much cooler would it be if Hydra was putting together something way more dangerous? Have it be the big James Bond opening that isn’t exactly connected to the rest of the film. It should just be a very high-stakes mission that shakes up Tony.
-Speaking of Tony, we need to talk about this guy. IRON MAN 3 was about Tony trying to stay in the suit and now AGE OF ULTRON should be about him trying to stay out of one. You can even keep the fact that everyone in Sokovia hates him for his past sins. That stuff is so great. Ultron could be Jarvis 2.0 that he ends up downloading into these new robotic bodies after discovering the mind stone at the Hydra base. He wants one last big push to erase his tainted legacy and ensure that the Earth is safe. You don’t need to have both the mind control of Scarlett Witch and the mind stone to create Ultron. One or the other should suffice. Let him really be at fault for everything that goes wrong in this movie.
-Get that mind stone out of the scepter as quickly as possible. We’re done with that scepter. We saw a whole Avengers movie about it already. Let’s move on.
-Like I said earlier, you should have Ultron be Tony’s new Jarvis. Have him be the voice in the suit for the first 15 minutes until Tony gives him A.I. capabilities. Ultron should learn to be evil. He shouldn’t be evil because he came from the mind stone.
-This party scene and the Ultron attack that follows is just perfect. Great job. The Rhodey story about dropping the tank at the palace? Wonderful. Don’t change a thing.
-The creation of The Vision should be simplified. I’m not sure exactly what he is in this script. Is he Jarvis? Is he Ultron? He says he is neither, but come on. Couldn’t he just be Jarvis with the assistance of whatever gave Ultron his A.I. abilities? Maybe Ultron was programmed to be like Tony because of his ego. The Vision could be the same situation, just without Tony’s ego programmed in.
-This scepter is back? Joss. Dude. What is with you and this scepter? I’m so over this scepter, but you really seem to love it. Get it out of here!
-I really need more of Ultron. You call this thing “AGE OF ULTRON” and yet it seems to be more of a “Long Weekend of Ultron.” He seems like such a great character. Can we have him start small, being almost a nuisance to The Avengers while they are taking care of Hydra, and from there grow him into a threat of global proportions? I also feel like we need to see the world taken over by Ultron. Maybe have him pretend to save Wakanda after the Avengers go nuts and trash it. Once he is seen as a savior by the world’s government’s and The Avengers are seen as extremely dangerous, that can be when they go into hiding. With them in hiding, Ultron can take over. He can take over everything.
-The Iron Man/Hulkbuster scene is so great. I think people are going to go nuts for that one!
-You set up the world security council in the first movie and they were fleshed out more in WINTER SOLDIER and where are they now? It would be really great to actually have some of those guys back and calling for the Avengers to hang up their hammers and shields. In fact, they should really want Tony to be working for them. You have him leaving the team at the end and he goes to work for them at some point in next summer’s CIVIL WAR… Why not just make it easier on yourself and have him forced to stop being Iron Man and work for them?
-Instead of finding out that Jarvis is keeping Ultron at bay, they could create The Vision for that exact purpose. They are a very reactive team in this script. Can we see them be very proactive once Ultron knocks them down a peg? Maybe Ultron wants to extend his reach past Earth? He could be reacting to the attack on Earth from the first movie. That is when they create Vision to stop Ultron from multiplying.
-The Avengers then have to clean up the millions of remaining Ultrons that are on Earth. They have to turn to where they all come from for help. That could be when Tony surrenders to the government, Steve agrees to disband the team, Thor returns to Asgaard to bring their armies to Earth to help stop Ultron. The threat could be too big for a few superheroes to handle themselves. You have them all splitting up in the end and this could be them making big, important decisions that cause that split. Imagine a montage of each of the Avengers taking on legions of Ultrons with their own army. It could be incredible. Right now it just sorta feels like the same ending to the first film.
-Thor is pretty much a walking trailer for INFINITY WAR. Knock it off. People are paying to see AGE OF ULTRON. Lets give them that.
-The ending with the Hulk is kind of vague. What happens to him? Could Tony’s deal with the world security council involve him agreeing to get rid of The Hulk/Bruce Banner? If you just ramp up the destruction that the nightmare induced Hulk causes in Wakanda… That could make his continued existence on Earth unacceptable. This would give the ending of the film a really sad, dramatic punch. Imagine, after everything that happens, that the Avengers last act as a team is banishing one of their own to a distant galaxy. It would be a major, heartbreaking moment for them.
-You could still have a new Avengers team at the end, but they could be the Secret Avengers. That’s a thing in the comics, right?
-Can Ultron’s final form have a bunch of arms so he can take on more than one Avenger at a time? Thank you!
I hope that these notes are helpful. What you have crafted thus far is terrific. I just think that if you let your characters make strong, costly decisions and have major repercussions for those decisions… This thing could be your EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. Not everything needs to be tied up neatly in a bow. They can beat Ultron in the end and still not win in the conventional sense. It only makes this super team more human.